Andy Mendelsohn, Senior Vice
President of Database Server
GETTING BUSINESS VALUE FROM YOUR DATABASE
s Oracle’s senior vice president of database server technologies,
Andy Mendelsohn is responsible for development and product
management of the Oracle Database product line. Profit
spoke with Mendelsohn about new capabilities in Oracle
Database 11g and how they affect Oracle Applications customers.
PROFIT: What business drivers motivated the advances we see
in Oracle Database 11g?
MENDELSOHN: Business leaders deal with three core issues
in IT: rate of change, escalating costs, and a perennial need
for high quality of service. Confronting these issues gets more
and more complicated as corporate information becomes more
diverse. There are XML documents. There is multimedia and
Web content. There are [Microsoft] Office documents. This
unstructured information is extremely valuable, and it needs to
be managed with the same secure, scalable, and available kind
of infrastructure that a database provides.
PROFIT: What has Oracle done to help customers with this?
MENDELSOHN: For starters, Oracle Database 11g can manage
all types of data—from traditional business information to XML
and 3-D spatial information. Secondly, Oracle grid technologies lower costs by enabling you to use commodity servers and
storage. PG&E, California’s largest utility, has seen huge cost
savings since it switched to an Oracle grid environment. PG&E
is rolling out its SmartMeter program for automated meter
reading that will gather energy usage information for more than
10 million customers. They predict their data storage requirements will go up 700-fold, so they switched to an Oracle database in a grid environment to handle the increase in volume,
and they say that they’re enjoying the same high-quality service
that they used to get on their mainframe.
PROFIT: What is Oracle doing to lower costs?
MENDELSOHN: For most companies, storage requirements
are tripling in size every two years. They need more power and
capacity. We’ve done a tremendous amount of work over the
years to lower the cost of owning and operating the database.
We’ve addressed labor costs by automating common administrative tasks and making the database more self-managing. For
example, in Oracle Database 11g , we’ve made it easier for database administrators to turn a large database into multiple partitions. We have also developed compression technologies that let
people store data more efficiently.
These technologies are appealing to eHarmony, the internet’s No. 1 trusted relationship service. eHarmony now has
18 million members, and its data has grown 16-fold in three
years. According to Mark Douglas, vice president of technology, they abandoned their former database management system
and adopted Oracle Database and [Oracle] Real Application
Clusters, along with Oracle Partitioning, to seamlessly scale
business demand and data growth.
Finally, we’ve devised new ILM [information lifecycle management] strategies that yield order-of-magnitude reductions
in database storage costs. For example, you can put your most
commonly used data on high-end storage platforms, and put
your less frequently used data on lower-cost platforms.
PROFIT: How does Oracle simplify IT changes and upgrades?
MENDELSOHN: One of the biggest challenges for business is
dealing with rapid change. How can you keep changing things
while delivering 24/7 availability? For example, if you want to
move to a new operating system or hardware platform, there
is significant testing to verify that the applications are going to